Oil prices shrugged off earlier losses to crawl into positive territory this afternoon, after US oil stocks unexpectedly tumbled.
Data released today by the Energy Information Administration showed US oil inventories fell by 3.4m barrels in the week ending 6 May. Analysts had pencilled in a build of 80,000 barrels.
Gasoline supplies slumped by 1.2m barrels, while distillate stockpiles shrank by 1.6m barrels.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 2.7 per cent to $46.76 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude, the US benchmark, added 2.2 per cent to $45.6
"Crude needs to start drawing soon or this market is in trouble," Scott Shelton, a broker at Icap, said ahead ahead of the release.
He had pointed to reduced oil exports from Canada, as the devastating wildfires choked supply there.
It comes after preliminary data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed US crude stocks rose by 3.45m barrels to a record high of 543.1m in the week ended 6 May.